Muhammara is a roasted red pepper dip that originated from Aleppo, Syria but has spread to Lebanon and Turkey as well. In Turkey it is known as Acuka.
The principal ingredients in Muhammara include fresh and dried peppers, walnuts, bread crumbs and olive oil. Families have their own recipes which may include garlic, lemon juice, salt, pomegranate molasses and cumin.
This is a classic food from the Levantine region which includes Cyprus, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Muhammara is typically served during Mezze which is a tapas-style medley of appetizers served with alcoholic drinks.
I am really excited to delve into middle eastern cuisine. The flavors are bold and the heat is relatively mild compared to some Indian and Korean food. The dips and condiments seem like a safe way to try a new cuisine.
Today I am sharing this Muhammara dip recipe with jarred roasted red bell peppers and a pomegranate substitution of red wine vinegar and honey. I wanted this to be an easy 5 minute recipe so that I would eat this every week and pomegranate molasses can be hard to find, has a short shelf life and if you aren’t cooking middle eastern recipes all of the time, this somewhat expensive ingredient is sure to go to waste. If you do keep some of this magic stuff, then by all means use it instead of the red wine vinegar and honey. I made this in the food processor in 5 minutes. Just measure your ingredients, dump in the food processor and shabang! A healthy, quick dip for bread or pita chips that is vegetarian and vegan. If you skip the bread crumbs it would be gluten free. You may try ground up GF crackers, that could work. Yes definitely. If you try this, let me know.
Let’s talk about Aleppo pepper. This is a moderately hot, slightly smokey red pepper that is ground and used in middle eastern cuisine. It actually reminds me of Korean gochugaru red pepper flakes. Not hot like cayenne but does have some heat and a slightly smokey taste. I used this red pepper which would be authentic but if you don’t have any you can use paprika. I used one teaspoon of Aleppo pepper and this made it moderately hot. If you wanted to amp up the heat you can double this.
How to eat Muhammara
- Serve with pita or other flatbreads such as Indian naan bread or Mana’eesh.
- Use as a sandwich or wrap condiment for a punch of flavor.
- Toss with pasta.
- Serve with crackers, pita chips or veggies.
- Add to a quesadilla for a cheesy treat.
- Top scrambled eggs with this amazing condiment.
- Add to a small tortilla with some shredded chicken for a middle eastern taco.
- Add to a cheese board with crackers, olives, cheese and pickled veggies.
How to store Muhammara
This can be stored up to five days in the fridge or freeze up to a month. Just thaw out in the fridge the night before. I like to use freezer bags and squeeze out any air to prevent ice crystals from forming.
Used in this recipe:
A bold, robust roasted red pepper dip from the Middle East served with pita bread or pita chips. An easy vegetarian recipe made in the food processor in just 5 minutes. Put down the hummus and make some Muhammara.
- 28 oz jar of roasted red bell peppers
- 1 cup of chopped scallions
- 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1 tsp Aleppo chili powder (may substitute paprika)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 cup of slightly toasted walnuts
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until a smooth dip has formed. May add extra bread crumbs or olive oil if needed to obtain the desired consistency.
- Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some chopped walnuts.
- Serve with pita chips, pita bread, crackers etc.
- Muhammara can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen in a freezer bag.
- You can toast walnuts in a skillet over medium heat. This can also be done in the oven but out of sight, out of mind, they might burn.
- Serving Size: 1/4 cup
- Calories: 236
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 138 mg
- Fat: 20 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 8 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 9 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Cholesterol: 7 mg